Anemones: growing from seeds in the garden

Table of Contents

Anemone flowers-1 Anemone, like all self-loving beauties, requires special treatment. So no general recommendations, no universal advice! Almost each of the 160 (!) varieties of anemone has its own requirements for watering, soil, light … But don’t be in a hurry to give up on the capricious! A certain formula of success in growing anemones (even if you do not know the exact variety!) still exists: plant in semi-shade, organize drainage, feed and loosening as they grow – and you can consider it half done!

  • Why is anemone afraid of weeding?
  • How to organize uninterrupted flowering of anemones on your plot from April to November?
  • How to awaken the “lazy” seeds of the flower?
  • How to organize the plant a proper wintering?

Read about all this in our article.

Planting and care of anemones

  • Planting: sowing fresh seeds for seedlings in June-July or under the winter (in October-November) in boxes. Planting tubers in spring.
  • Flowering: spring, summer or fall – depending on the species.
  • Lighting: for forest species – semi-shade, for Mediterranean – bright sunlight.
  • Soil: loose, fertile, (sandy or peaty) better neutral.
  • Watering only in dry periods and during flowering.
  • Fertilizing with liquid organic and mineral fertilizers during flowering and in autumn.
  • Propagation: seeded and vegetative (tubers, division of a bush or parts of rhizomes).
  • Pests: leaf nematodes, aphids, South American leafminers, thrips and whiteflies.
  • Diseases: gray rot, peronosporosis (false powdery mildew), anthracnose, sclerotinia, viral infections.
Read more about growing anemones below

The name of the plant anemone (lat. Anemone), or windmill from the Greek literally translates as “daughter of the winds”, because anemone flowers react with fluttering petals even to the weakest gust of wind. This flower belongs to the buttercup family and is a perennial herbaceous plant. It occurs in temperate regions of the plains and in mountainous regions of both hemispheres. Counts about 160 species, blooming at different times and in very different ways, which confuses even experienced flower growers. How to grow anemones will be discussed in this article.

Features of cultivation

Among the variety of species and varieties of anemones there are quite unpretentious, and there are those that require special care, and this difference is explained by the fact that some anemones have rhizomes, and others – tubers. Species with rhizomes are not difficult to grow, while mistakes in the care of tuberous anemones lead to serious consequences.

There are a few features to consider if you are interested in growing anemones.

  • First, these flowers require mandatory watering during dry, sultry weather.
  • Secondly, fall fertilization should be carried out with complex mineral fertilizers, and fertilize the soil before planting or during growth and flowering – with organic fertilizers.
  • Thirdly, in winter, protect anemones from frost by covering them with dry leaves.
  • And lastly, it is best to propagate anemones in the spring by root shoots or seeds sown closer to winter. We will elaborate on all these features below.

Preparing to plant anemones

Preparing the soil

Before planting anemones, it is necessary to choose a place for planting and prepare the soil. The site will need a spacious, shaded and protected from draughts. The rhizomes of anemones proliferate greatly during the season, but are so fragile that they are harmed by contact, and this must be taken into account. Also, anemones do not tolerate intense heat and drafts well.

The soil is suitable well-drained, loose and fertile. Loam or deciduous soil with peat is best. To create an ideal structure, add simple sand to the soil, and you can reduce the harmful for anemones excessive acidity by adding dolomite flour or wood ash to the soil.

Preparing the seeds

Those who have decided to grow flowers from seeds should know that anemone seeds have a low germination rate: no more than a quarter germinate, and only from freshly collected seeds. But if you subject the seeds to stratification, that is, expose them to the cold for 1-2 months, you can increase their germination. To do this, the seeds are mixed with coarse sand or peat at the rate of 1 part of the seeds for three parts of the sand, well moistened and sprayed daily with water to maintain the necessary moisture.

When and how to sow asters – tips from experienced flower growers

Once the seeds have swollen, add some substrate, stir, moisten and put in a ventilated room with a temperature no higher than 5 ºC. After a few days, when the seedlings have sprouted, take the container with the seeds out into the yard, bury them in the snow or ground and cover with sawdust or straw. In early spring, the seeds are transplanted into boxes for germination.

But to save yourself all this trouble, it is better to plant the seeds in autumn in boxes with loose soil and bury them in the yard, covering them with cut branches. Over the winter they will undergo natural frosting, and in the spring you will dig them up and sprout them.

Anemone seeds (planting)-4 Pictured: planting anemone seeds in seed trays

Preparing the tubers

Before planting, anemone tubers are awakened from their sleep by soaking in warm water for a few hours to swell, and then planted to a depth of 5 cm in pots with a moist mixture of peat and sand for germination. Moisten the soil in the pots moderately but regularly.

Some gardeners recommend “soaking” anemone bulbs by wrapping them in a cloth well moistened with a solution of epin, and keeping them for about six hours in a plastic bag. After that, anemones can be immediately planted in the ground.

Anemone tubers-5 Pictured: Preparing anemone tubers for planting

Planting anemone

Planting the tubers

No special difficulties planting anemone does not involve, the main thing is to determine the point of growth. Pre-treated, swollen tubers have visible bud tubercles, and it is clear how to plant them. But if you are in doubt, remember: the top of the anemone tuber is flat, so plant with the sharp end down. If you are uncomfortable with the shape of the tuber, plant it sideways. The hole for the anemone should be 30-40 cm in diameter and 15 cm deep. At the bottom of the hole you need to pour a handful of humus and ash, then place the tuber, cover it with soil and slightly flatten it. The place of planting anemone flowers well watered.

Anemone seedlings-6 In the photo: Anemone seedlings, ready for transplanting into the ground

Planting seeds

By the time of planting, anemone seedlings should have at least two leaves. The seedlings are planted in the ground in a slightly shaded place in the second year of growth. If planted in the fall, the seeded area is covered with branches or leaves against frost. Anemones, grown from seed, can blossom only after three years.

As for the timing of planting tubers or seeds, you can achieve that on your plot anemones will bloom from April to November, if you buy different varieties and plant them at the optimal time for each of them.

How to Care for Anemone

Anemone flower-7 Care for anemone is uncomplicated and unburdensome. The main problem in this matter is to maintain the necessary level of humidity during the entire cycle of vegetation. The danger is that if overwatered, the root system can die from rot. And the lack of moisture, especially during the formation of buds, is not conducive to growth and flowering of anemone. To balance the moisture level, you should plant on an elevated site with good drainage.

After planting, it is very desirable to mulch the site with a five-inch layer of leaves of fruit trees or peat. As for watering, in spring it is enough to moisten the soil once a week; in moderate summer anemone does not need additional watering, the only exception is crown anemone during flowering. In hot, dry summers, water daily in the morning or after sunset.

Pink anemone-8 Fertilize anemones preferably during flowering with liquid organics (anemones do not like only fresh manure) and complex mineral fertilizers in the fall. If you fertilized the bed before planting anemones, fertilizing can be excluded altogether. It is also recommended to regularly loosen the soil and weed out. Or rather, not weeding, but digging by hand, because you can damage the fragile root system of anemones with a hoe.

Anemones are disease-resistant; sometimes they are harmed by slugs and snails, but a solution of methaldehyde will help you deal with these pests, which you need to collect by hand beforehand. Some anemones are affected by winter worm (moth caterpillars) or leaf nematodes. If affected by nematodes, it is better to destroy sick plants and replace the soil in which they grew.


Anemone is propagated by seeds, tubers, division of the rhizome or shrub. About reproduction by tubers and the most unpromising way, the seed method, we have already told. When dividing the rhizomes (rhizomes) are dug out in the spring, cut into pieces of 5 cm long with an obligatory bud on each piece and planted, placing horizontally in loose soil to a depth of 5 cm. Such a plant reaches maturity in three years. Transplanting with bush division can be carried out only with plants that are 4-5 years old.

Anemone after flowering

In the climate of the middle zone with the onset of autumn, anemones should be removed from the soil and prepared for winter storage: tubers should be dried, the tops (the above-ground part of the bush) should be cut off and stored in the dark and cool, placed in peat or sand. A damp cellar is best for this.

Planting anemone seedlings-9 Pictured: Growing anemones in a bed

If you decide not to dig up anemones in anticipation of a warm winter, cover the area with fallen leaves or lapwort so that the unexpected frost won’t kill the flowers.

Types of anemone

Since anemone flower in culture and nature presented in a great variety, and different species require different care, let’s get acquainted at least with the most common representatives of the anemone family.

Types and peculiarities of care for anemones. Anemones are divided into spring and summer (or fall) anemones according to the time of flowering. Spring anemones are very graceful, a wide range of pastel colors: snow-white, cream, pink, blue, lilac … There are even terry varieties. Spring anemones are ephemeroids, which means that their cycle of aboveground flowering is short. They wake up in April, bloom in May and leave for rest in July, though many species retain their leaves till fall. Anemones also differ in the type of rhizome. The rhizome of Anemone luticum and Anemone oakleaf is divided, fragile, while that of Anemone delicate is tuberous, slowly growing.

Anemone blanda

This plant is a miniature, 5-10 cm in height, the most popular varieties – Blue Shades (blue), Charmer (pink), White Splendour (white).

Anemone blanda-10 Picture: Anemone blanda.

Oak Anemone (Anemone nemorosa).

Not so popular in our latitudes, the height of the bush – 20-30 cm, diameter of flower – 2-4 cm, flowers are usually simple white, but in culture there are varieties with blue, lilac and pink flowers. There are even macerated specimens. The main advantage – unpretentiousness.

Anemone nemorosa-11 Pictured: Oak Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)

Anemone ranunculoides

Also unpretentious, also has a terry varieties, height of the bush – 20-25 cm, flowers are bright yellow slightly smaller than the Oak Anemone, grows in almost any soil.

Anemone ranunculoides-12 Picture: Anemone ranunculoides.

Summer-flowering (fall) anemones are represented by species such as Japanese anemone (Anemone japonica), hybrid anemone (Anemone hybrida) and crown anemone (Anemone coronaria). They are usually large perennials with a strong root system and well branched. They flower from late summer to mid-autumn.

Anemone japonica-13 Picture: Japanese Anemone (Anemone japonica).

Coronate anemone (Anemone coronaria).

Blossoms twice – in early summer and fall. Autumn species have sturdy and slender peduncles, from 80 cm to a meter and a half tall, they hold up to several dozen simple or semi-maxillary flowers of various shades. The most popular varieties of crown anemone are De Caen anemone, which has simple single flowers in a variety of colors, Mr. Foker – flowers are blue; anemone machromatic varieties Don Juan (bright red color), Lord Jim (blue flowers).

Anemone coronaria-14 Pictured: Anemone coronaria

Hybrid anemone (Anemone x hybrida).

Known for such varieties as Honorine Jobert with white, slightly pinkish flowers underneath, semi-maxillary dark purple anemone Profusion, Queen Charlotte, also semi-maxillary anemone with juicy pink color. Japanese anemone is mostly represented in culture by such species as Pamina with large dark pink, almost burgundy terry flowers, Hadspen Abundance, a tall anemone with creamy flowers and Prinz Heinrich with semi-major bright pink flowers.

Anemone hybrida-15 Pictured: Anemone hybrida


  1. Read about the subject on Wikipedia
  2. Features and other plants of the Buttercup family
  3. All Species List at The Plant List
  4. More information at World Flora Online